Ethiopia would have started GERD negotiations in October if not for Tigray conflict

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Oct 2021

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir revealed on Sunday that Ethiopia would have started the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations in October but has delayed it till now due to the war in the Tigray region.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and South Sudan President Salva Kiir in Cairo on Sunday (Photo: Egyptian Presidency)

Kiir’s statements were given in a press conference that was held in the presidential palace after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi earlier on Sunday.

“I was promised by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that he would start negotiations this month on the GERD, but it did not happen because of the war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front,” Kiir said.

According to Kiir, The Ethiopian prime minister is not in a good position now to move forward despite all his capabilities, adding that Ethiopia is facing two problems with Egypt and Sudan in addition to its problem with the Tigray.

For his part, President El-Sisi stated that he reiterated in his talks with his South Sudanese counterpart the necessity of reaching a legally binding agreement on the operation and filing policies of the GERD.

“Reaching a legally binding agreement on the GERD will boost stability in the region for all and will open new ways of cooperation between the Nile basin’s countries,” he said.

El-Sisi also stated that he expressed Egypt’s full support and solidarity with South Sudan, especially with the challenges it is facing from the pandemic, floods, and food shortages, as well as implementing the 2018 peace agreement.

He added that Cairo supports Juba in all development fields, especially in irrigation, health, education, and economy.

During the presser, Kiir praised the Egyptian companies in South Sudan and their contributions to its infrastructure and development projects, from highways networks, electricity grids, telecommunications, and agriculture projects.

According to Kiir, South Sudan is looking forward to fostering this kind of development and providing support to these Egyptian companies as an appreciation for their work in the past few years.

The South Sudanese president also stated that he discussed the latest developments in Sudan how to tackle them.

“Egypt and South Sudan should start consultations on how to support Chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan to avoid the return of clashes between opposition groups,” Kiir said.

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